Market Musings Blog

Yams – three great recipes

From sweet to savory, these three recipes show the versatility of yams.


Brown Sugar-Glazed Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows

A classic

Ingredients (serves 6)
4 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1 inch pieces | 2/3 cup packed  brown sugar | 5 tbsp. butter | 1 tsp. ground cinnamon | 1/2 tsp. salt | 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg | pinch of ground ginger |
2 cups marshmallows | 1/2 cup sliced almonds


Preheat oven to 375°F. Arrange potatoes in 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish.

Combine sugar, butter, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and ginger in heavy small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Pour over potatoes; toss to coat. Cover dish tightly with foil.

Bake potatoes 50 minutes. Uncover; bake until potatoes are tender and syrup thickens slightly, basting occasionally, about 20 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 500°F. Top potatoes with marshmallows and nuts. Return to oven; bake until marshmallows begin to melt and nuts begin to brown, about 3 minutes. (Recipe from

Not Too Spicy Yam Soup

Just enough kick to warm you up on a cold night

1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil | 1 white or yellow onion, thinly sliced | 4 large yams |
2 cup water  | 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth | 1 sweet red pepper
1 jalapeño or ½ tsp. hot red pepper flakes | Half a lemon or lime | 1 cup heavy cream
More salt (optional) | Fresh basil or cilantro leaves | Unsalted, roasted cashews


Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes, add the olive oil, then sauté onion until it starts to brown.

Peel sweet potatoes; slice crosswise; put in a heavy pot with chicken or vegetable broth; simmer until sweet potatoes are tender (20–30 minutes).

When sweet potatoes have become soft, add onions, their oil and pan scrapings, then put through a food mill or blender to make as velvety as possible. Return to the heavy pot and leave on simmer.

Chop sweet red pepper into small dice, mince jalapeño, and add those to the soup. Taste for balance, and add juice from lemon or lime (you can also add some zest from the skins). Then add up to a cup of heavy cream, after which you may need to add some more salt. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Sweet Potato-Chicken-Peanut Stew

A common and very luscious West African dish

Note: If you’re vegetarian, substitute firmly pressed tofu for the chicken (two 1-pound packages). You’ll probably need to increase all of the seasonings to bring up the flavor.


2 tablespoons of peanut oil
1 smallish yellow or white onion, chopped coarsely
1 small whole chicken, or 8 pieces, skin-on, bone-in for extra flavor, or two 1-pound packages
of tofu, firmly pressed before use
½–1 teaspoon of kosher salt
black pepper, to taste
2/3 cup of finely chopped peanuts or chunky peanut butter
1 cup of chicken or vegetable stock or broth
Another 2 cups of chicken or vegetable stock or broth
2 cloves of garlic, skinned and finely chopped
1 medium dried hot pepper or ¼ teaspoon of hot red pepper flakes
2 medium raw sweet potatoes, skinned, sliced once lengthwise and four times crosswise
3 canned tomatoes, mashed (for vegetarian version)
¾ pound of greens (spinach, kale, chard, collard), sliced crosswise into thin ribbons
2 tablespoons of lemon juice or clean-flavored vinegar
Tabasco sauce (optional)


1. Heat a large, heavy pot on MEDIUM, then add oil, and when it shimmers, add onions and cook until they brown and become transparent (about 10 minutes).
2. In the meantime, season chicken pieces lightly with salt and pepper. Add them to the onions, stir in, and cook on both sides until they are browned (about 6–7 minutes).
3. Combine peanuts or peanut butter and 1 cup of chicken stock or broth until the mixture is smooth; then add the other 2 cups of stock.
4. Mince the garlic and red pepper until it’s almost a paste, or grind them in a mortar. Stir into the chicken stock.
5. Add stock to the pot, bring to a boil, then lower the heat to SIMMER and cook, covered, for 10 minutes.
6. Add sweet potatoes to pot. Bring back to boil, then lower heat again to SIMMER, and cook, partly covered, until sweet potatoes are tender (about 15–18 minutes).
7. Add greens and stir in, until they wilt but are still bright green (less than 2 minutes). Season with more salt, pepper, lemon juice, and pepper sauce, if desired.

Like all soups and stews, this grows tastier by the day. (Adapted from Barbara Kafka’s Soup: A Way of Life (1998) and several in African News Cookbook (1986).)

Using peak produce for Thanksgiving

Whether you’re looking to make a side dish or dessert to accenturate your Thanksgiving spread, these two recipes take advantage of the season’s peak produce.

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Squash and Brussel Sprouts

Pumpkin isolatedIngredients
1 ½ lbs. butternut squash
1 lb. Brussels sprouts
2 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper
2 cups quinoa
1/3cup roasted pumpkin seeds
1 bunch parsley, coarsely chopped

1 shallot, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. maple syrup or honey

Preheat oven to 400˚ F.
Peel squash and remove seeds. Chop squash into ½-inch cubes; set aside. Wash and trim Brussels sprouts and cut in half. Toss squash and Brussels sprouts with 2 Tbsp. olive oil, then salt and pepper to taste. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast until tender, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, rinse quinoa in a fine-meshed strainer. Place in medium saucepan or rice cooker and add 3 cups water. Cover, bring to a boil and let simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and let quinoa stand covered for another 10 minutes.

To prepare dressing:
In a small bowl, stir together shallot and vinegar. Let stand for 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

Once squash and Brussels sprouts are roasted, quinoa is cooked, and dressing is prepared, combine quinoa and dressing in a large bowl, then add squash, Brussels sprouts, pumpkin seeds, and chopped parsley. Gently stir to combine and serve.

Pear and Pomegrante Crumble

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
a73e2461-ea95-4d69-90ae-ce97f466c22c1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

4 pears, peeled and chopped
1 pomegranate, seeds only
1 orange, zest and juice
1 lemon, zest and juice
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar

  • Preparation
    Preheat oven to 375˚F.
  • In a medium bowl, add all topping ingredients. Stir together and break up butter until combined.
  • In another bowl, add chopped pears, pomegranate seeds, zest and juice of lemon and orange, cinnamon, nutmeg, flour, sugar, and a pinch of salt. Mix well.
  • Pour fruit mixture into baking dish. Top with topping and gently press down onto the fruit mixture.
  • Bake until lightly browned and bubbling, about 50 minutes.

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